Construction workers face a variety of different dangers in their workplace. While these range in severity, 796 people died in 2013 as a result of construction-related accidents. Of the 796, 294 were related to falls. One Massachusetts company has recently been cited after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration claims that it failed to protect its employees’ safety, leading to a workplace accident that sent three people to the hospital.
The three men, employees of Provencher Home Improvement, were using a scaffold to work on a roof at the time of the accident. Reports indicate that the platform broke, causing the three workers to fall two stories. Two required hospitalization for injuries ranging from broken and cracked bones, injuries to the eyes, spine and face as well as a punctured lung.
An OSHA investigation apparently revealed that the fall was caused by using planks that were not strong enough to hold the men’s weight and were specifically marked to indicate they should not be used as a plank in a scaffold. Because of this and other citations, the owner of the company has been fined approximately $295,000. The injuries the men suffered highlights the importance of following health and safety standards in order to protect workers.
While the fines may help protect future employees, it is unclear how the injured men are coping with the injuries they suffered in the workplace accident. Many people suffering as a result of such an incident could easily become overwhelmed as a result of a precarious financial situation created by medical bills and lost wages. While there are laws in Massachusetts governing the provision of workers’ compensation benefits, many injured workers find that it is difficult to ensure they receive adequate compensation. However, an attorney with experience with such cases can help pursue full recovery of all available benefits on behalf of an injured worker.
Source: ehstoday.com, “Not For Scaffold Use: Three Massachusetts Roofers Hospitalized When Scaffolding Breaks“, Sandy Smith, April 9. 2015